Japan

AP Photo/Leo Correa

Copa America roundup: Uruguay tops Chile; Full knockout bracket

Leave a comment

Ecuador and Japan drew to allow Paraguay to sew up the final knockout round spot, sending Miguel Almiron and Co. into a match-up with Brazil.

[ MORE: Johannsson to MLS? ]

And Uruguay rode Edinson Cavani’s goal into the other side of the bracket, moving ahead of Chile in a tight match.

Ecuador 1-1 Japan

There was a lot to like in a match with 30-plus shots and the ultimate prize of a match-up with Brazil on Thursday in Porto Alegre.

Shoya Nakajima put the Asian side ahead a quarter-hour into the match, but Angel Mena provided an equalizer before halftime to put both sides in danger of failure to reach the knockout rounds.

Chile 0-1 Uruguay

Cavani scored for the second time this tournament as Uruguay claimed first place in Group A and a knockout round meeting with Peru.

Cavani’s deftly flicked header of a Jonathan Rodriguez pass pushed Uruguay above Chile, which had won both of its group matches and now meets Colombia on Friday.

Knockout round schedule

June 27
Brazil v. Paraguay

June 28
Venezuela v. Argentina
Colombia v. Chile

June 29
Uruguay v. Peru

July 2
Brazil/Paraguay v. Venezuela/Argentina
Colombia/Chile v. Uruguay/Peru

July 6
Third place playoff

July 7
Final

Copa America: Guests Japan, Qatar still alive ahead of group finales

AP Photo/Silvia Izquierdo
Leave a comment

PORTO ALEGRE, Brazil (AP) Both Copa America guests are still alive as the last round of group stage matches begins, a feature that doesn’t seem to please some of their South American opponents.

Qatar and Japan, who this year played in the Asian Cup final, are in third place in their groups. The top two in each group and the two best third-place finishers advance to the quarterfinals.

If Argentina is prematurely eliminated, it will be because of Qataris with little international experience who are preparing for the 2022 World Cup.

Japan sent to Brazil an under-23 team that is being groomed for the Tokyo Olympics next year.

Asian champion Qatar has so far drawn with Paraguay 2-2 and lost to Colombia 1-0.

“We have come to compete, not to take pictures, even if we admire the players of the teams we are facing,” Qatar’s Spanish coach Felix Sanchez said on Saturday. “Our main goal is to evaluate ourselves in a tournament of this caliber, so demanding.”

After winning the Asian Cup, Sanchez’s contract was extended until the end of the next World Cup. On Sunday, his team will have the chance to upset Lionel Messi.

“It would be beautiful to qualify no matter if it is against a monster like Argentina,” Sanchez said. “It will be a great step, even though we know they are also trying to advance to the next stage.”

The Qataris have already been invited to return to next year’s Copa, split between Colombia and Argentina. Australia will be a guest side in 2020.

Japan was thrashed by Chile 4-0 but held favorite Uruguay to 2-2 after leading twice. On Monday the young Japanese can eliminate Ecuador to advance and, depending on other results, possibly face host Brazil in the quarterfinals on Thursday.

Venezuela coach Rafael Dudamel is particularly upset with Japan’s decision to bring its Olympic team.

“I do not agree that a guest like Japan gives due importance to its participation by coming with players that are mostly under 23,” Dudamel said Saturday after Venezuela beat Bolivia 3-1 and qualified to the quarterfinals of Copa America.

“I raise my voice and say Copa America needs to be only for South American teams,” he added. “We have not seen South American teams be invited to the African Cup of Nations, tournaments in Europe… We have to respect the hierarchy that we have historically built.”

The list of Copa America guests in past editions is long: Mexico, Costa Rica, United States, Jamaica, Honduras, Panama, Canada and Japan. Mexico had the best result among those, reaching the final in 1993 and in 2001.

Paraguay coach Eduardo Berizzo said he doesn’t like the idea of teams outside of the Americas such as Qatar and Japan playing the Copa America.

“Playing among all American teams, that is logic,” Berizzo said after drawing Qatar. “We should think of a Copa America with Central and North Americas integrated. I never saw any European cup with South American teams. I strongly believe that Copa America needs to be played by American teams.”

Uruguay coach Oscar Tabarez said business was the main reason to invite teams to the Copa America.

“We are few countries in South America to organize a tournament with 10 teams, even more so with four phases like in a World Cup,” Tabarez said.

Watch Live: Uruguay takes on Copa America visitors Japan

Getty Images
Leave a comment

Uruguay looks to continue its hot start to the 2019 Copa America when they take on tournament guests Japan in Porto Alegre.

A hot first half saw Uruguay down Ecuador 4-0 in its opener and positioned the South American giants well in Group C alongside fellow 4-0 winners Chile. A Uruguay win tonight and Chile win tomorrow against Ecuador would see both sides clinch spots in the knockout stage.

[ WATCH LIVE: Uruguay vs. Japan on Telemundo Deportes ]

Manager Oscar Tabarez has made one change to his starting lineup against Japan, installing Arsenal midfielder Lucas Torreira in place of Matias Vecino who will miss the rest of the Copa America with a thigh injury. Otherwise, the team is unchanged with Edinson Cavani, Luis Suarez, and Nicolas Lodiero manning the front lines.

For Japan, there is still plenty riding on this match as well despite their poor start. The Asian side can still qualify for the knockout stage in a number of ways, including one of two third-place slots. Still, they need points for that to happen and with each of the other two groups sporting third-place teams that have picked up points, Japan is behind the eight ball.

LINEUPS

Uruguay: Muslera; Caceres, Godin, Giminez, Laxalt; Nandez, Betancur, Torreira; Lodeiro, Cavani, Suarez.
Bench: Campana, Silva, Coates, G Gonzalez, Saracchi, Valverde, Arrascaeta, Pereiro, J Rodriguez, Stuani, M Gomez.

Japan: Kawashima, Sugioka, Itakura, Ueda, Tomiyasu, Shibasaki, Nakajima, Miyoshi, Shinji Okazaki, Iwata, Hiroki Abe.
Bench: Nakayama, Suga, Matsumoto, Tatsuta, Hara, Osako, Kubo, Kojima, Ito, Ueda, Watanabe, Maeda.

Women’s World Cup: England win, Argentina’s historic comeback (video)

Getty Images
2 Comments

There were only two games on tap during Wednesday’s Women’s World Cup action, but it certainly didn’t lack in any drama, as VAR showed its ugly side.

Here’s a roundup of what went down in Nice and Paris.

[2019 Women’s World Cup: Marta sets record, Kerr scores again]


England 2-0 Japan

Forward Ellen White scored a brace for the Three Lions as it completed a perfect run through the group stage, beating Japan, 2-0 in the final group stage match. England dominated the match throughout, as Japan looked a shell of the nation that made it to the last two World Cup finals.

Phil Neville employed the Three Lions to use a high press and it worked, constantly forcing Japan into turnovers, one of which set up the opener.

Georgia Stanway used a nice turn, change of pace and strength to hold off her defender before finding White in space. White beat Japan’s offside trap before dinking a shot past Japan’s Ayaka Yamashita.

Yuka Sugasawa gave Japan some life in the second half with her introduction in the 61st minute, but White scored her second goal of the match in the 84th minute to basically put the match away.

With the win, England moves on to the knockout round and will face the third place team from Groups B/E/F on Sunday. Japan meanwhile will face the winners of Group E, likely either Canada or the Netherlands.

Argentina 3-3 Scotland

Argentina completed an historic comeback over Scotland, scoring three goals in the final 20 minutes plus stoppage time of the match at the Parc des Princes in Paris to draw, 3-3, knocking Scotland out of the tournament.

VAR played a big role late, as Argentina were awarded a penalty kick and then given a re-take after Lee Alexander jumped off her line before making the save.

Amazingly, Scotland was up 3-0 heading into the 70th minute and were cruising towards victory. Kim Little scored the opener in the 19th minute off a pass from Erin Cuthbert after Vanina Correa had already denied Cuthbert. Scotland than scored twice more in the second half off corner kicks, the first on the second phase with a header from Jenny Beatty and the second on the loose ball in front of goal by Cuthbert.

Argentina then began its incredible comeback in the 74th minute with Milagros Menéndez side-footing home. Florencia Bonsegundo helped get Argentina’s second with a terrific curling effort that caromed off Lee Alexander and in for a goal.

The drama increased as just before the 90th minute, Aldana Cometti was brought down in the box. Initially, the referee RI Hyang Ok of North Korea did not rule a penalty kick but after going to the VAR, Hyang Ok changed her mind and awarded a penalty.

Yet, just like on Monday between France and Nigeria, the goalkeeper was the hero as Alexander made the initial penalty kick save and then saved the rebound from Bonsegundo. Seconds later, after another VAR consultation, it was shown that Alexander jumped off the line before the shot, leading to another controversial re-take.

This time, Bonsegundo didn’t miss and Argentina came away with a wild point.

With only two points, Argentina needs Cameroon-New Zealand and Chile-Thailand to both finish in draws in order for Argentina to advance. Unfortunately for Scotland, it’s the end of the road in harsh fashion.

Thursday’s Women’s World Cup schedule

Group E

Netherlands v. Canada — 12 p.m. ET
Cameroon v. New Zealand — 12 p.m. ET

Group F

Sweden v. USA — 3 p.m. ET
Thailand v. Chile — 3 p.m. ET

Watch Live: 2019 Women’s World Cup – Group D finale

Getty Images
Leave a comment

Group D takes center stage at the 2019 Women’s World Cup on Wednesday, as there is everything still to play for.

[ MORE: Women’s World Cup news ] 

England and Japan clash in Nice with a point enough for the Lionesses to finish top of the group, while Japan know a win will clinch top spot and a draw will seal second. There is some talk that Phil Neville‘s England may ease off the gas and try to finish second in the group to give themselves an easier path in the knockout rounds.

As for Argentina and Scotland who meet in Paris, neither team has won so far in Group D and a victory for Argentina would see them into the last 16 and Scotland need a win and help to advance as one of the best third-place teams.

You can watch every single game from the tournament live online in Spanish via Telemundo Deportes and via the NBC Sports App. All you have to do is click on the links below.

[ LIVE: Watch every single 2019 Women’s World Cup game ]

Here is your full schedule for Wednesday, June 19 at the Women’s World Cup.


2019 Women’s World Cup schedule

Group D: Scotland v. Argentina – 3 p.m. ET – STREAM LIVE
Group D: Japan v. England – 3 p.m. ET – STREAM LIVE